Voyeur

I drift around the port where the tourists gather, where the peddlers set up their stands in the town square displaying colorful T shirts, strange masks made of beans and seeds and fishbones, pens with sculptured faces of demons, monkeys, lizards and birds and semi precious stones, small and slightly flawed.

I wander along the shore where the locals live in small, weathered houses, shaded by palm trees, their brightly colored fishing boats resting by the river’s edge.

And there—an almost naked woman washing clothes.

She’s standing up to her thighs in the river—beating, washing, scrubbing, rinsing, wringing the clothes on a small platform.

I smile at her. 

She smiles back, her bikini the same color as the fishing boats—blue, her body the same color as the river—brown, a golden glowing brown skin glistening in the sunlit water beads caressing her skin.

And I yearn to possess her.

But not now; not yet.

I walk along the shore, photograph fishing boats and houseboats with their peeling paint, an old man snoozing in a hammock, a boy walking through the water, onto a houseboat, carrying his shoes and his books—and in every photograph, somewhere in a corner, in the background, behind the boats, there is my woman in a blue bikini doing her laundry.

I walk back to her, standing on the shore. I look down at her, this almost naked woman, her blue bikini, low and tight on her body, her bountiful breasts exposed.

I smile at her; she smiles back.

I gesture with my camera; she accepts my offer, a look of puzzlement on her round brown face.

Pictures of fishing boats, vendors with their exotic wares, the quaint town with its dust and brightly colored doors I share.

The woman—I keep for myself.

***

Peter D. Goodwin is a teacher, playwright, and poet who divides his time between the restless organized chaos of New York City and the apparent tranquility of the Chesapeake Bay. He’s published his poems in a chapbook titled No Sense of History as well as in a wide assortment of journals, both print and online.

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